Debuting at this year’s Heartland Gaming Expo will be a demo of “Top Caster,” a crowd sourced game helmed by local game programmer and producer Matt Harmon.
Harmon (whose credits include “And 1 Streetball,” “Terminator 3” and “The Mask”) had been planning on developing a game whose story was based on the culture of live streaming platform Twitch.tv.
When Harmon announced his plans on Twitch, he received an influx of graphics and code from Twitch viewers. After looking at these contributions, Harmon decided to step back and open up the entire development process to Twitch viewers.
“None of these people have finished a game before,” Harmon said. “They’re all top-of-their-class, but they haven’t finished a game.”
Because of this, Harmon’s opinion holds some significant sway among the contributors. Even when he opens issues up to a vote, he finds that his opinion often determines the outcome of the vote.
“Top Caster” is crowdfunded as well as crowdsourced, and contributions can earn those who contribute an early release version of the game, their name in the credits or even their Twitch profile picture attached to an enemy in the game.
“I think that I’m on to something and that this is showing signs of the future of game development,” Harmon said.
Harmon will also be speaking at the conference, though he has not yet decided what he will talk about.